- Research Assistant Professor, Urology
- Research Assistant Professor, Public Health
I am a cancer health disparities researcher trained in anthropological genetics and medical anthropology, subfields of anthropology aiming to understand the complex interactions of genetic, biologic, and social/behavioral factors related to health. This unique training background prepared me to conduct transdisciplinary research projects to understand the interactions of gene/biology and social/behavior factors affecting development and progression of various diseases, while appreciating biologic and cultural diversity. The overarching goal of my research is 1) to identify genetic, biological, and social/behavioral factors affecting cancer development and progression causing cancer health disparities and 2) to develop programs to reduce cancer burden and improve cancer care in racial/ethnic minority groups.
- Ph.D. Anthropology
- University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, United States
- University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona (2014 - 2017)
- University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois (2012 - 2014)
- Scholar-in-Training Award
- American Association for Cancer Research, Fall 2020
- the 7th American Association for Cancer Research: The Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Ethnic Minorities and Medically Underserved, Fall 2014
Urologic Cancer, Cancer Molecular Genomics, Precision Medicine, Cancer Health Disparities, Kidney, Prostate
Mentoring residents, medical students, and graduate students to enrich their training and have experience in research
CMM Directed ResearchCMM 592 (Fall 2021)
- Batai, K. (2020). Characterization of urinary microbiome in patients with bladder cancer: Results from a single-institution, feasibility study. Urol Oncology. doi:10.1016/j.urolonc.2020.04.014
- Batai, K. (2020). Genetic Admixture and Survival in Diverse Populations with Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. Am J Respir Crit Care Med, 201, 1407-1415. doi:doi: 10.1164/rccm.201907-1447OC
- Batai, K., Harb de la Rosa, A., Zeng, J., Chipollini, J., Gachupin, F. C., & Lee, B. R. (2019). Racial/ethnic disparities in renal cell carcinoma: Increased risk of early‐onset and variation in histologic subtypes. Cancer Medicine, V. 8, Issue 15. doi:https://doi.org/10.1002/cam4.2552
- Batai, K., Harb-De la Rosa, A., Lwin, A., Chaus, F., Gachupin, F. C., Price, E., & Lee, B. R. (2019). Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Renal Cell Carcinoma: An Analysis of Clinical Characteristics. Clinical Genitourinary Cancer.
- Rhodes, C. J., Batai, K., Bleda, M., Haimel, M., Southgate, L., Germain, M., Pauciulo, M. W., Hadinnapola, C., Aman, J., Girerd, B., Arora, A., Knight, J., Hanscombe, K. B., Karnes, J. H., Kaakinen, M., Gall, H., Ulrich, A., Harbaum, L., Cebola, I., , Ferrer, J., et al. (2019). Genetic determinants of risk in pulmonary arterial hypertension: international genome-wide association studies and meta-analysis. The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.
- Batai, K., Bergersen, A., Price, E., Hynes, K., Ellis, N., & Lee, B. R. (2017). The Clinical and Molecular Characteristics and Burden of Kidney Cancer among Hispanics and Native Americans: Steps toward Precision Medicine. Clinical Genitourinary Cancer.More infoCancer disparities in Native Americans (NAs) and Hispanic Americans (HAs) vary significantly in terms of cancer incidence and mortality rates across geographic regions. This review reports that kidney and renal pelvis cancers are unevenly affecting HAs and NAs compared to European Americans of non-Hispanic origin, and that currently there is significant need for improved data and reporting to be able to advance toward genomic-based precision medicine for the assessment of such cancers in these medically underserved populations. More specifically, in states along the US-Mexico border, HAs and NAs have higher kidney cancer incidence rates as well as a higher prevalence of kidney cancer risk factors, including obesity and chronic kidney disease. They are also more likely to receive suboptimal care compared to European Americans. Furthermore, they are underrepresented in epidemiologic, clinical, and molecular genomic studies of kidney cancer. Therefore, we maintain that progress in precision medicine for kidney cancer care requires an understanding of various factors among HAs and NAs, including the real kidney cancer burden, variations in clinical care, issues related to access to care, and specific clinical and molecular characteristics.
- Batai, K., Gachupin, F. C., Estrada, A. L., Garcia, D. O., Gomez, J., & Kittles, R. A. (2018). Patterns of Cancer Related Health Disparities in Arizona. Cancer Health Disparities.More infoCancer incidence rates vary regionally among American Indians (AIs) and Latinos. The goal of this was to identify areas of research necessary to reduce cancer health disparities in AIs and Latinos, the two major racial/ethnic minority groups in Arizona. In an effort to better understand cancer health disparities, cancer incidence rates in AIs and Latinos in Arizona were compared to non-Hispanic Whites (NHWs). Age-adjusted incidence rates (per 100,000) were obtained from the Arizona Cancer Registry and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries. Spearman’s rank test was used to examine correlation between county-level cancer incidence rates and socio-demographic factors. AIs and Latinos had lower incidence rates of screening for detectable cancers than NHWs. Among older men (age ≥65), however, AIs and Latinos had similar prostate cancer incidence rates to NHWs. Some of less common cancers, such as kidney, stomach, liver, and gallbladder, were more frequently diagnosed in AIs and Latinos than NHWs. AIs and Latinos were more likely to be diagnosed with advanced cancer stage, except for cervical cancer. Correlations between prostate and breast cancer incidence rates and percent urban residents as well as population size were significantly positive. Poverty levels were inversely correlated with colorectal and lung cancer incidence rates. Our review of cancer incidence rates suggests that socio-demographic factors, such as population size (rural/urban) and poverty levels, have influenced cancer detection and incidence rates in Arizona.
- Batai, K., Imler, E., Pangilinan, J., Bell, R., Lwin, A., Milinic, T., Arora, A., Ellis, N., Bracamonte, E. R., Seligmann, B., & Lee, B. R. (2018). Whole-transcriptome sequencing identified gene expression signatures associated with aggressive clear cell renal cell carcinoma. Genes & Cancer, 9(5-6).More infoClear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) is the most prevalent subtype of kidney cancer, yet molecular biomarkers have not been used for the prognosis of ccRCC to aide clinical decision making. This study aimed to identify genes associated with ccRCC aggressiveness and overall survival (OS). Samples of ccRCC tumor tissue were obtained from 33 patients who underwent nephrectomy. Gene expression was determined using whole-transcriptome sequencing. The Cancer Genome Atlas Kidney Renal Clear Cell Carcinoma (TCGA-KIRC) RNA-seq data was used to test association with OS. 290 genes were differentially expressed between tumors with high and low stage, size, grade, and necrosis (SSIGN) score (≥7 vs. ≤3) with PADJ
- Bime, C., Pouladi, N., Sammani, S., Batai, K., Casanova, N., Zhou, T., & Kempf, C. (2018). GWAS in African Americans identifies the Selectin P Ligand gene, SELPLG, as an ARDS risk gene. American J Respiratory Critical Care Medicine.More infoRationale: Genetic factors are involved in acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) susceptibility. Identification of novel candidate genes associated with increased risk and severity will improve our understanding of ARDS pathophysiology and enhance efforts to develop novel preventive and therapeutic approaches.Objectives: To identify genetic susceptibility targets for ARDS.Methods: A genome-wide association study was performed on 232 African American patients with ARDS and 162 at-risk control subjects. The Identify Candidate Causal SNPs and Pathways platform was used to infer the association of known gene sets with the top prioritized intragenic SNPs. Preclinical validation of SELPLG (selectin P ligand gene) was performed using mouse models of LPS- and ventilator-induced lung injury. Exonic variation within SELPLG distinguishing patients with ARDS from sepsis control subjects was confirmed in an independent cohort.Measurements and Main Results: Pathway prioritization analysis identified a nonsynonymous coding SNP (rs2228315) within SELPLG, encoding P-selectin glycoprotein ligand 1, to be associated with increased susceptibility. In an independent cohort, two exonic SELPLG SNPs were significantly associated with ARDS susceptibility. Additional support for SELPLG as an ARDS candidate gene was derived from preclinical ARDS models where SELPLG gene expression in lung tissues was significantly increased in both ventilator-induced (twofold increase) and LPS-induced (5.7-fold increase) murine lung injury models compared with controls. Furthermore, Selplg−/− mice exhibited significantly reduced LPS-induced inflammatory lung injury compared with wild-type C57/B6 mice. Finally, an antibody that neutralizes P-selectin glycoprotein ligand 1 significantly attenuated LPS-induced lung inflammation.Conclusions: These findings identify SELPLG as a novel ARDS susceptibility gene among individuals of European and African descent.
- Jacobs, E. T., Lance, P., Mandarino, L. J., Ellis, N., Chow, S. (., Foote, J. A., Martinez, J., Hsu, P. (., Batai, K., Saboda, K., & Thompson, P. A. (2018). Selenium supplementation and insulin resistance in a randomized, clinical trial. BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjdrc-2018-000613
- Kohler, L. N., Florea, A., Kelley, C. P., Chow, S., Hsu, P., Batai, K., Saboda, K., Lance, P., & Jacobs, E. T. (2018). Higher Plasma Selenium Concentrations Are Associated with Increased Odds of Prevalent Type 2 Diabetes. The Journal of Nutrition, 148(8), 1333-1340.
- Kohler, L., Foote, J., Kelley, C., Florea, A., Shelly, C., Chow, S., Hsu, P., Batai, K., Ellis, N., Saboda, K., Lance, P., & Jacobs, E. (2018). Selenium and Type 2 Diabetes: Systematic Review. Nutritents, 10(12). doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10121924
- Williams, L. M., Qi, Z., Batai, K., Hooker, S., Hall, N. J., Machado, R. F., Chen, A., Campbell-Lee, S., Guan, Y., Kittles, R., & Hanchard, N. A. (2018). A locus on chromosome 5 shows African ancestryâlimited association with alloimmunization in sickle cell disease. Blood Advances, 2(24), 3637.
- Batai, K., Murphy, A. B., Ruden, M., Newsome, J., Shah, E., Dixon, M. A., Jacobs, E. T., Hollowell, C. M., Ahaghotu, C., & Kittles, R. A. (2017). Race and BMI modify associations of calcium and vitamin D intake with prostate cancer. BMC cancer, 17(1), 64.More infoAfrican Americans have disproportionately higher burden of prostate cancer compared to European Americans. However, the cause of prostate cancer disparities is still unclear. Several roles have been proposed for calcium and vitamin D in prostate cancer pathogenesis and progression, but epidemiologic studies have been conducted mainly in European descent populations. Here we investigated the association of calcium and vitamin D intake with prostate cancer in multiethnic samples.
- Nelson, S. M., Batai, K., Ahaghotu, C., Agurs-Collins, T., & Kittles, R. A. (2017). Association between Serum 25-Hydroxy-Vitamin D and Aggressive Prostate Cancer in African American Men. Nutrients, 9(1).
- Richards, Z., Batai, K., Farhat, R., Shah, E., Makowski, A., Gann, P. H., Kittles, R., & Nonn, L. (2017). Prostatic compensation of the vitamin D axis in African American men. JCI insight, 2(2), e91054.More infoBACKGROUND. African American (AA) men are disproportionately affected by both prostate cancer (PCa) and vitamin D deficiency compared with European American (EA) men. Vitamin D deficiency is linked to increased PCa aggressiveness and mortality. Therefore, it has been hypothesized that vitamin D deficiency may contribute to the PCa disparity between AA and EA men. METHODS. We studied a cross sectional group of 60 PCa patients (AA, n = 31; EA, n = 29) who underwent radical prostatectomy. Vitamin D metabolites 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25(OH)2D) were measured in the serum and tissue by uHPLC-MS-MS. Tissue was laser capture microdissected, and gene expression was quantified by microarray. DNA isolated from whole blood was genotyped for West African ancestry markers and vitamin D-related SNPs. RESULTS. Serum concentrations of 25(OH)D were lower in AAs, but concentrations of 1,25(OH)2D in the prostate tissue were higher compared with EAs. Expression of the vitamin D receptor was higher in prostate tissue from AAs. Expression of the extracellular receptor of vitamin D binding protein, LRP2, was positively associated with West African ancestry and inversely associated with tissue 25(OH)D concentrations in AAs. CONCLUSIONS. The relationships between vitamin D binding protein LRP2 and vitamin D metabolites suggest that the prohormone is actively transported into the prostate, followed by intraprostatic conversion to the active hormone, rather than passive diffusion. These findings support the presence of a compensatory response in prostate tissue to vitamin D deficiency in AAs and reveal a previously unknown complexity involving tissue distribution of vitamin D metabolites. FUNDING. Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program Idea Award for Disparities Research PC121923 (LN and RK) and the NIH 1R01MD007105 (RK).
- Batai, K., & Kittles, R. A. (2016). Can vitamin D supplementation reduce prostate cancer disparities?. Pharmacogenomics, 17(10), 1117-1120.
- Batai, K., Murphy, A. B., Nonn, L., & Kittles, R. A. (2016). Vitamin D and Immune Response: Implications for Prostate Cancer in African Americans. Frontiers in Immunology, 7, 53.
- Mahmoud, A. M., Al-Alem, U., Dabbous, F., Ali, M. M., Batai, K., Shah, E., & Kittles, R. A. (2016). Zinc Intake and Risk of Prostate Cancer: Case-Control Study and Meta-Analysis. PLOS ONE, 11(11), e0165956.
- Murphy, A. B., Nyame, Y. A., Batai, K., Kalu, R., Khan, A., Gogana, P., Dixon, M., Macias, V., Kajdacsy-Balla, A., Hollowell, C., Catalona, W. J., & Kittles, R. (2016). Does prostate volume correlate with vitamin D deficiency among men undergoing prostate biopsy?. Prostate Cancer And Prostatic Diseases, 20, 55.
- Nyame, Y. A., Murphy, A. B., Bowen, D. K., Jordan, G., Batai, K., Dixon, M., Hollowell, C. M., Kielb, S., Meeks, J. J., Gann, P. H., Macias, V., Kajdacsy-Balla, A., Catalona, W. J., & Kittles, R. (2016). Associations Between Serum Vitamin D and Adverse Pathology in Men Undergoing Radical Prostatectomy. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 34(12), 1345-1349.
- Al-Alem, U., Rauscher, G., Shah, E., Batai, K., Mahmoud, A., Beisner, E., Silva, A., Peterson, C., & Kittles, R. (2014). Association of Genetic Ancestry with Breast Cancer in Ethnically Diverse Women from Chicago. PLOS ONE, 9(11), e112916.
- Batai, K., & Williams, S. R. (2014). Mitochondrial variation among the aymara and the signatures of population expansion in the central Andes. American Journal of Human Biology, 26(3), 321-330.
- Batai, K., Murphy, A. B., Shah, E., Ruden, M., Newsome, J., Agate, S., Dixon, M. A., Chen, H. Y., Deane, L. A., Hollowell, C., Ahaghotu, C., & Kittles, R. A. (2014). Common vitamin D pathway gene variants reveal contrasting effects on serum vitamin D levels in African Americans and European Americans. Human Genetics, 133(11), 1395-1405.
- Batai, K., & Kittles, R. A. (2013). Race, Genetic Ancestry, and Health. Race and Social Problems, 5(2), 81-87.
- Batai, K., Babrowski, K. B., Arroyo, J. P., Kusimba, C. M., & Williams, S. R. (2013). Mitochondrial DNA diversity in two ethnic groups in Southeastern Kenya: Perspectives from the northeastern periphery of the bantu expansion. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 150(3), 482-491.
- Batai, K., Shah, E., Murphy, A. B., Newsome, J., Ruden, M., Ahaghotu, C., & Kittles, R. A. (2012). Fine-Mapping of IL16 Gene and Prostate Cancer Risk in African Americans. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention, 21(11), 2059.
- Batai, K., Zeng, J., & Lee, B. R. (2019, November). Renal cell carcinoma surgical disparities in Arizona. Western Section American Urological Association Annual Meeting. Monterey, CA: Western Section American Urological Association.
- Batai, K., Imler, E., Phung, M., Bell, R., Lwin, A., Price, E., Milinic, T., Bracamonte, E. R., Seligmann, B., & Lee, B. R. (2018, May). Whole-transcriptome sequencing identified gene expression signatures associated with aggressive clear cell renal cell carcinoma. American Urological Association Annual Meeting. San Francisco, CA: American Urological Association.
- Funk, J., Bracamonte, E. R., Price, E., Hynes, K., Lwin, A., Bell, R., Batai, K., & Phung, M. (2018, October). Clinical characteristics and gene expression associated with pre-operative prostate volume in patients undergoing holmium enucleation of the prostate (HoLEP) surgery for a treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia.. American Urological Association Annual Meeting. Maui, Hawaii: Western Section, American Urological Association.
- Funk, J., Bracamonte, E. R., Price, E., Hynes, K., Lwin, A., Bell, R., Phung, M., & Batai, K. (2018, September 2018). Clinical characteristics and gene expression associated with pre-operative prostate volume in patients undergoing holmium enucleation of the prostate (HoLEP) surgery for a treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia.. World Congress of Endourology Conference. Paris, France: World Congress of Endourology.
- Batai, K. (2020, Oct). Renal cell carcinoma health disparities in American Indians Alaska Natives and Hispanic Americans. The Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved. Virtual: American Association of Cancer Research.
- Batai, K., Asmar, S., Gachupin, F. C., Chipollini, J., & Lee, B. R. (2020, April). Renal cell carcinoma health disparities in American Indians Alaska Natives and Hispanic Americans: Comparison of National Cancer Database and Arizona Cancer Registry data. American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting. Virtual: American Association for Cancer Research.
- Batai, K., Pollock, G., Gachupin, F. C., Chipollini, J., & Lee, B. R. (2020, May). Assessment of Renal Cell Carcinoma Surgical Disparities in American Indians and Hispanic Americans. American Urological Association Annual Meeting. Washington, DC: American Urological Association.
- Batai, K., Sanderson, P. R., Hsu, C. P., Joshweseoma, L., Russell, D., Joshweseoma, L., & Burhansstipanov, L. (2020, March). Barriers to Cancer Screening among Southwest American Indian Men Living on a Reservation. American Society of Preventive Oncology Annual Meeting. Virtual: American Society of Preventive Oncology.
- Batai, K., Harb de la Rosa, A., Gachupin, F. C., & Lee, B. R. (2019, May). Renal cell carcinoma disparities: Younger age at diagnosis and increased clear cell renal cell carcinoma incidence in American Indians and Hispanics. American Urological Association Annual Meeting. Chicago, IL: American Urological Association.
- Karnes, J. H., Thayer, T., Arora, A., Garcia, J. G., Batai, K., Halladay, S., Lutz, K., Coleman, A., Pauciulo, M., Kittles, R., Geraci, M. W., Yuan, J. X., West, J., Hemnes, A., Stearman, R., Nichols, W. C., Brittain, E., & Desai, A. (2019, May 2019). Sorting Nexin 29 (SNX29) as a novel biomarker for Vasoresponsive Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. American Thoracic Society Annual Meeting. Dallas, TX: American Thoracic Society.
- Zeng, J., Batai, K., & Lee, B. R. (2019, May). Nephrectomy Delay More Than Ten Weeks from Diagnosis Is Associated with Decreased Overall Survival in pT3 RCC. American Urological Association Annual Meeting.
- Batai, K., Harb de la Rosa, A., Gachupin, F. C., Imler, E., Bracamonte, E. R., Seligmann, B., & Lee, B. R. (2018, November). Clinical and molecular profile of renal cell carcinoma in Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, and European Americans. The 11th American Association of Cancer Research Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved. New Orleans, LA: American Association of Cancer Research.
- Batai, K., Pangilinan, J., Phung, M., Bell, R., Bracamonte, E., & Lee, B. R. (2018, September). Gene overexpression in aggressive clear cell renal cell carcinoma identified with whole-transcriptome sequencing and validated against The Cancer Genome Atlas. World Congress of Endourology Conference.
- Lee, B. R., Seligmann, B., Bracamonte, E., Milinic, T., Price, E., Lwin, A., Bell, R., Phung, M., Imler, E., Batai, K., & Pangilinan, J. (2018, October). Gene Expression Associated with Overall Survival in Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma. World Congress of Endourology Conference. Maui, HI.
- Batai, K., Michalak, J., Craig, M., Bergersen, A., Price, E., & Lee, B. R. (2017, August). Urologic Cancer Disparities among Hispanic Americans and Native Americans in Four U.S.-Mexico Border States. Western Section American Urological Association Annual Meeting. Vancouver, BC: Western Section American Urological Association.
- Batai, K., Murphy, A. B., Shah, E., & Kittles, R. A. (2017, April). Effect modifications of vitamin D receptor common polymorphisms association with prostate cancer by serum vitamin D related behavioral and biological factors. American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting. Washington, D.C.: American Association for Cancer Research.
- Karnes, J. H., Batai, K., Arora, A., Kaye, J., Steiner, H., Nair, V., Garcia, J. G., Yuan, J., Paucilio, M. W., Nichols, W. C., Kittles, R., & Desai, A. (2017, November). Genome-Wide Association Study of Vasodilator Response in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. American Heart Association Scientific Sessions. Anaheim, CA: AHA.More infoCirculation. 2017; 136: A24015